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Atka…Ambassador Arctic Wolf…steals the show!

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Atka, a beautiful Arctic Gray Wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center, was the star of the show at Bryant University before a packed auditorium!

Josh and Rebbecca  paid a visit to Bryant University In Rhode Island yesterday and gave a wonderful presentation about wolves and their important contributions to the ecosystem.  Josh talked about fables and myths and the need o dispel them as the true identity of the wolf is far from what is depicted in these stories, to be sure.
Josh did a great job in mixing fact with humor to keep the audience  while providing a slide show that included some videos of Red Wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center located in South Salem, NY.  The hit video, without a doubt, started with a background of gray wolves howling, and all of a sudden two young Red wolf pups bolted out of their den and boldly stood there and let out their little wolf howls, to the delight of the audience.

Then the star of  the show was led out by WCC’s   curator Rebbecca.  Atka, a beautiful Arctic Gray wolf, weighing about 85 lbs, walked fearlessly out onto the stage to the oohs and ahhs of the crowd. Josh instructed the onlookers to stay in their seats and not to touch or reach for Atka as Rebbecca walked him through the aisles .  He explained that while Atka is habituated to do the shows, he is still, in fact, a wolf .  He continued to provide information how wolves and dogs, while related , have many differences.  Dogs will listen to people and follow instructions, for example, they will stay if well trained and not eat until allowed by their owner, however try this with a wolf !  The wolf will not listen to such commands, and in the wild wolves are actually not fond of people and do everything they can to keep their distance.
I can certainly attest to this fact as spending much time in Yellowstone National Park wolves are normally seen at a distance, and most will look for alternative crossing when humans are present.  I have seen them close up while in pursuit of prey, but that is on  rare occasions where they are so focused on their pursuit they see little else at that given moment.

Near the end of the program Atka pretty much showed who is the star of this show.  Someone from the crowd asked if Atka would howl and Josh explained that Atka does howl when at home, but not such a big fan of howling during the presentations,  But being the trooper and not wanting to disappoint Josh let out an impressive howl at the same time that Rebbecca was walking with Atka on stage.  Less than two seconds into the howl Atka immediately exited stage left pulling a laughing Rebbecca along with him.  The crowd loved it!

Ambassador wolf programs are so very important as they dispel a lot of myths and rumors and provide important facts about wolves.  This program from the Wolf Conservation Center is excellent as they keep the information flowing in a way that one will remember it, and when the wolf makes an appearance after the slide show presentation the audience has  grasped that understanding .  Instead of fear, there was nothing but love as people were reaching for their cameras.  Thanks Atka, and the wolves in the wild that benefit from what you and your human sidekicks do,  give big thanks too! Be sure to visit the Wolf Conservation Center website and see what they do, and if you ever get a chance to visit them in South Salem, NY it will certainly be a memorable experience.

Dave Hornoff

Understand, Love Protect

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